Book writing tricks today? Repetition involves repeating a line or a word several times in a poem. Poets use this to emphasize a point, to bring attention to a particular item or theme, to achieve a particular effect, or to provoke an emotional reaction from the reader.
The best form for your poem will depend on what it’s about and the mood and feelings you want to create in the reader. The length of the line can make the reader go faster or slower, change the look of the poem on the page, focus attention on certain words. You may decide to incorporate other structural elements such as a certain number of syllables per line, a regular meter, or a rhyme scheme. All of this should work with, and contribute to, the poem’s meaning.
What are you writing about Rachel Rabbit White? I’m writing more traditional poems, love poems. Lyrical poems. The first ten are being published as a four-week series for the literary magazine Triangle House, as a weekly installment called “Work For Love.” The artist Casey Kauffmann is doing original art for it. The poems shift constantly between the specter of being “in love,” this beautiful human phenomenon, and questioning romantic love as a site of social complicity that’s deeply socially ingrained and fucked.
You seem to inhabit a few different personas. There’s Rachel the poet, party girl—and you’re also a sex worker. Which personas did you inhabit while you were writing these poems? I think there is this me facing the idea of melting off the escort persona at times, and then also trying to hold on to a sense of self and politics, which is where the more manifesto-style lines enter [my work]. There is also the “I just want to have fun with my friends and have the orgy” voice, and there’s a a colloquial text message [persona] too. I think you can tell there are direct text messages from me to my friends and the other way around. See more details at Poet Rachel Rabbit White.
I met Rachel Rabbit White last December. Her first collection of poems, Porn Carnival, had just come out the month before. I’d read an article about the release party, about some angel dust, a little cake-sitting, a DJ, and then something like “Rachel Rabbit White is a sex worker.” It all seemed glamorous and no-fucks-ish. And this was about poetry. I had just gotten out of prison. I was in a halfway house. Weekdays, I went to work at an office. It was a bullshit job. I was making $8/hr, paying 25 percent of the gross of my paychecks back to the halfway house for “subsistence.” I had published a novel the previous year. It was a good thing I had, or I’d have been broke. This didn’t go without controversy. Some took issue with her feelings about her own experience, something to the effect of it being unethical of her to exploit her own exploitation. She was even accused of being a “fake” sex worker. Her accusers were not sex workers, so it’s anyone’s guess how they might know enough to tell a fugazzi from a genuine article, but this is neither here nor there. A few porn stars bowed up to troll for White, and that was the last of people saying she was a fake.